Rizla Suzuki’s Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne had a spectacular high speed accident at Snetterton in Norfolk on Friday, ahead of round seven of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship.

The accident happened just four minutes into the first free practice session when Byrne ran straight on at the end of the Revitt straight.

“Shakey went out and on his second lap he was coming down the Revitt straight, which is a kilometre long, and he ran on at the end of it. We’ve had a look at the telemetry and he suffered a crash at 187mph, he was knocked unconscious and was taken to the medical centre.” The medical centre then transferred Byrne to hospital for further checks. “They transferred him to Norwich and Norfolk Hospital where he went under a series of x rays and examinations and they let him go about one hour later,” said McClean. “Nothing broken, he is bruised and feels really beaten up and has a sore head from the concussion.” The cause of the accident is still unclear and the team are currently looking into it.

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As a safety precaution, an eight day rule is applied to any rider who is knocked out which means that they are unable to race for eight days, therefore Byrne was ruled out of competing at Snetterton.

The Rizla team have decided to field Jon Kirkham as he regularly competes on Suzuki machinery. The team were impressed with his progress considering how the bike was set-up.

“Jon got on very well, the bike he was riding was Shakey’s spare bike from Mallory so it was in no way, shape or form set up for somewhere like Snetterton with a 200mph straight,” said McClean. “Also it is set up for a guy who is about six inches shorter than Kirkham with gearing for a very different circuit. But he still went out and did a mid 1min 06secs which was excellent and we were really pleased with that.”

Kirkham finished second free practice in sixteenth place with Rizla regular James Haydon, who is carrying a shoulder injury, in thirteenth.

“My left shoulder is still quite painful after the crash at Mallory Park two weeks ago. It is heavily strapped and I am undergoing extensive physiotherapy at the track but I still don’t have full movement or strength in it yet. Cornering is where it’s proving toughest as the shoulder has to work particularly hard when turning the bike in and out of the chicanes,” explained Haydon, “It was tough riding today (Friday) but I think it will get easier tomorrow and for sure the bike is quick enough on the straights. I hope to be competitive for the races on Sunday.”



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